About the Blog

United Hearts Children Center is located in Bawjiase, Ghana. It is currently home to 25 children, who are excited to move into their NEW home in the next few months. We are continuing fundraising to complete the project and have just started to fundraise for the United Hearts Community School. Check them out in my links!

Friday, January 21, 2011

How? Fine.

Seeing as things have been relatively uneventful here, I am going to use this post as a way to give you a taste of my daily interactions with the people of Bawjiase.

Firstly, I am not from a small town. I am from a place that is technically not a city, but close enough, where people say hi to me because they know me, either by name or by sight. Generally, these interactions involve a small a smile, a wave, a simple "hello," or a good morning/afternoon/evening. Here in Bawjiase, however, it is rare to have an interaction that is so simple. For a reason which I have yet to figure out, it is crucial for the people of Bawjiase to call to me using some sort of name before/instead of actually speaking to me. These names include:
  • Becca
  • Becky
  • Rebecca
  • Ama (my Ghanaian name, given to all females born on a Saturday)
  • Oburoni (White person)
  • Obolo (nicely translated to mean big, aka you are fat and it is something we like and not an insult. Always difficult to explain to a new volunteer)
  • White woman
  • White man
  • White
About 30% of the time I choose to ignore people when they call to me, mainly if they are not using one of the first three names on my list. This is not actually rude, and trust me when I say you would do it, too. Being white in Bawjiase is like being Lindsay Lohan anywhere else. Nearly every person I pass calls out to me, and it is not only exhausting but literally impossible to acknowledge every single one of them. The other 70% of the time people call to me I respond. The following are possible interactions that will occur (the words in italics indicate I am speaking. Also, I am using only English to write the interactions, but many happen in Twi, as well):
  • How are you? I'm fine, how are you? I'm also fine.
  • Good morning/good afternoon/good evening. Morning/afternoon/evening.
  • Where are you going? I am going to town/market/Kasoa. You are going to town/market/Kasoa? Yes.
  • Oburoni! Obibini!
  • Give me 50 pesewas/5 cedi/water. No. You give me 50 pesewas/5 cedi/water.
  • How? Fine.
  • Oburoni, where are you? (commonly said by small children who are confused between where are you going and how are you)
  • I want to take you as friend. Okay.
  • Where is your brother/sister? (Lauren or Vlad)
  • I love you/I want to marriage you. Oh.
  • Oburoni, how is your life? My life is fine.
  • Lastly, though not verbal, my arm is frequently touched/grabbed/squeezed by children, women, and men. I don't believe this is a social norm here as much as it is simply due to the fact that my arms are white.
And that is a little taste of my normal interactions here in Bawjiase.

1 comment:

  1. Becca,
    Your mom forwarded your blog link to me; I am fascinated by your adventures and comments. It sounds like an incredible experience. Take care, Oburoni!